The City of Hamilton - beautiful BERMUDA
26 May 2018
IMAGE – images
On Tuesday 22nd May -3 OCC yachts – Sue & Bill on Camomile, the 2 Kens (father and son) on Antares and us moved from St Georges around to Hamilton City. Thankfully the weather was calm for our 3 hours motoring. It was a good opportunity to see the northern tip Fort St Catherine and the north shore of the island. This north shore is strewn with reef and wreaks – thankfully we could navigate the clean blue water via the well-marked inner channel.
The purpose of this journey was threefold – firstly to fill our tanks with Duty Free fuel at the Ribus depot Royal Naval Dockyard, to explore the capital town – the City of Hamilton – especially on Bermuda Day, and have our deflating dingy repaired.
The Duty Free diesel refuelling worked out really well – we actually paid less for fuel here than we did in America. Our tanks and 3 on-deck jerry cans are now full and we ready for the possible motoring days ahead to get to the Azores.
The diesel depot was located in the Yachting Centre – specifically set-up for last years Americas Cup. It was interesting to speak to the staff and hear their stories about the excitement and atmosphere. The Royal Navel Dockyard are looking interesting and we will make a land based visit to explore it a little more due the time we are in nearby Hamilton.
Initially all 3 yachts found it difficult to find an anchoring space – the harbour is now full of anchoring balls – due to last years Americas Cup. Antares eventually found a spot close off the town and we were a little further south.
Abrie had made contact for us with the local Yamaha agent – Michael, and we were able to set up our dingy repair for 1st thing tomorrow morning.
We enjoyed a lovely evening- afternoon drinks and dinner looking back to the Hamilton harbour.
Wednesday 23rd - we arranged to meet Michael at 8.30am in Mill Creek. Thankfully James had taken a good look at how to get into the very sheltered Mill Creek and set up waypoints on our handheld GPS – so we had no navigation issues and arrived well ahead of time. Michael and Scott wasted no time is hauling our dingy. Scott had the right tool back in his workshop for removing the leaking valve and instead of just waiting around we looked around the Yamaha shop with Michael and had a quick drive around the town. It was good to meet Michael and have a chat. Michael is from one of the original Portuguese families – and is a very proud Bermudian. The whole repair time took just over 1 hour – well done guys.
We headed from Mill Creek into Hamilton to leave our dingy at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club – which became a good hub for our comings and goings and for meeting up with the 2 other yachts.
The Town Crier of Hamilton does a walking tour around Bermuda’s capital every morning from 10.30am for a few hours. Edward we very entertaining and very knowledgeable – and obviously enjoyed being the MOST well known and MOST popular man in town. We enjoyed his tour and gained some interesting information about social, government and topical information from him.
We found it interesting that the impressive clocktower at the City Hall does NOT tell the time – but the wind direction!
After his tour we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the very central and pretty Victoria Park. Whilst wandering the shopping streets we quickly realised that Bermuda is a 1st world country and residents experience a high standard of livings from international banking and tourism.
We went home back to the boat for a few hours rest and to have a good on-the-water view of Wednesday afternoon Royal Bermuda Yacht Club twilight races.
Wednesday night in Hamilton is street party/street food night when the central length of Front Street is closed off to traffic and the stalls move in. It was great to see the very colourful African drumming group of Gombies.
Gombey is derived from an African wording meaning rhythm and the group musically placed the kettle ad snare drums. Their uniform/dress has a peacock headdress, painted mask, bells attached to their ankles – and the captain of the group has a whip. As they did their circle movements their dress was a riot of colour with multi-coloured tassels and embroidery capes.
We found a waterfront bar to try our 1st Dark ‘n Stormy – it bit too touristy and so was the price!
We wandered the food stalls – not the best street food we have experienced – but the atmosphere in the crowded street was excellent.
When we returned to the RBYC the twilight sailors were in full swing with the post race dinner and drinks.
Thursday 24th we did a few jobs in and around town and then took a local bus from Hamilton out and along the Great Sound through the country roads to the Royal Naval Dockyard. The 1 hour journey gave us a good look at the various little villages along the main road admiring the pastel stone cottages. We passed some very exclusive golf and seaside resorts – the tourist dollar is indeed very important to Bermuda.
The Dockyard was the base for the 2017 Americas Cup yacht racing – wow it would have been a fantastic event. The remnants of the various countries sheds and advertising/marketing was still visible. We enjoyed wandering through the historical dockyards area and then caught a local ferry back across the Great Sound into Hamilton Harbour.
Coming into the capital was very photogenic indeed.
Bermuda Day – the countrys National Day was on Friday 25th. The day was a full-on party day for the whole island and its population.